As the spring season concludes, a new chapter is just beginning in senior wide receiver Marco Iannuzzi’s football career. As was announced by the Canadian Football League earlier today, the Calgary, Alberta, native was selected by the BC Lions in the first round of the CFL draft. Click here for the full draft results.
The No. 6 overall pick, Iannuzzi sits atop the all-time leader board in both career and single-season average kickoff returns with 26.5 and 34.5 yards per return, respectively. This past season, Iannuzzi scored two touchdowns on kickoff returns for the Crimson, including a 95-yard return against Brown in Harvard’s first Ivy League game this year.
The football star wasn’t the only Harvard athlete who earned major recognition this weekend. Though both the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams lost in the finals of their respective Ancient Eight tournaments earlier today, stellar pitching from freshman Laura Ricciardone and junior Rachel Brown helped the Crimson capture the Ivy League title against rival Cornell. Harvard shut out the Big Red, 5-0 and 4-0, respectively, this weekend to sweep the best-of-three championship series. The series served as a rematch of last year’s Ivy League Championship, in which Cornell earned victory over Harvard.
Captain Collin Zych was not among the 254 players selected in last week’s NFL draft, but the safety still has a shot at making it to the pros
Zych had visits with a number of professional teams, and undrafted players are often signed after the amateur selections to help fill in remaining voids in the roster. Because of the current lockout, the situation becomes more complicated, but he still stands a chance of making it to the NFL as an undrafted signing.
Only one Ivy Leaguer was drafted this year. The Kansas City Chiefs selected Yale’s Shane Bannon, a fullback for the Bulldogs, in the seventh round, with the 223rd overall pick. Bannon is the first Eli to get drafted in seven years.
Per the restrictions of the labor struggles in the NFL, no one can sign contracts, a limitation that affects both drafted and non-drafted prospects.
Zych, the captain of last year’s football team, was first team All-Ivy and Academic All-Ivy. His 79 tackles were tied for best on the team with senior linebacker Nick Hasselberg.
Though Harvard has a number of alumni currently in the NFL, no member of the Crimson squad has been drafted since 2005. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick—likely the most famous Harvard graduate in the NFL—was selected with the 250th overall pick by the St. Louis Rams. He started most of last season for the Buffalo Bills.
Ryan Fitzpatrick ‘05 was nearly Mr. Irrelevant in the 2005 NFL Draft, as the St. Louis Rams selected him in the seventh round with the 250th pick overall.
Now, the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills has something in common with another starter from the Ancient Eight.
The Kansas City Chiefs selected Yale senior Shane Bannon in the seventh and final round of the 2011 NFL Draft on Saturday, albeit 27 picks higher than Fitzpatrick. Bannon’s selection marks the first time since 2004 that a Bulldog has been taken in the NFL Draft.
As the NFL continues to deal with negotiations between owners and the Player’s Union, it calls for a look to the past when the game of football almost ended, forever.
Despite the lockout in the NFL, the draft is still scheduled to start April 28, and scouting remains active into the last few weeks before the 2011 amateur selection.
After a stellar senior season, captain defensive back Collin Zych has attracted the attention of a few NFL teams, according to Yahoo! Sports. The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Dallas Cowboys are both interested in the All-Ivy honoree, and Zych is reported to have pre-draft visits lined up with the two teams.